It was a really good week, it went by very fast and I have managed to get ahead of schedule. I hoped to finish off the week with a home run but best I could do was lay the foundation for a good start next week. ;)
I am unable to see the recently setup MidRetail test server from the test LPAR. So I spent the morning verifying the iSeries TCP and NetServer configuration and testing the QNTC file system. I took my findings to the IT Manager and he reached the same conclusion, there is a DNS problem. Come to find out, the MS DNS server for the test network recently died and new server had to be reconfigured manually. Unfortunately the iSeries entries were missed. I do not have access to the server so have to wait until Monday to have the network guys figure it out.
The iSeries QNTC file system is part of the iSeries Netserver and allows the iSeries programs output stream files, STMF, directly to a Microsoft Windows share. Very cool stuff, easy to setup and really handy when you need to feed your back end data to a PC application.
I have been using MidRetail on the the production server since the iSeries test LPAR is on a different Domain and unable to directly communicate. While waiting on the Microsoft Application test server to be setup I have been moving documents between systems manually to test my XML output. Once we get the connection issues resolved I will be able to install the MidRetail application on the test server and be able to start daily full cycle testing of the completed interface programs.
I finished polishing the Store interface program and moved on to the Sales History interface program. Each program grows in complexity as I work through the project. This interface requires that store sales be summed to Date, Store, Style, Color and Date, Store, Style, Color, Size daily and Date, Store, Style, Color weekly. The input data is from a file that is populated nightly from sales of over 300 stores. This is looking like a good fit for my first embedded SQL, whoopee!
I may break the task into two programs, daily and weekly, that creates three XML documents. Some consideration will be needed on handling missed Stores and how to process them once data is retrieved.
I have been writing and learning RPGLE Free and now ready for trying my hand at some embedded SQL. I have seen working examples but have never actually coded myself. I do use SQL Explorer on a regular basis to write Select queries to verify data and find it extremely useful. I have a day or two to work out the techniques but if it looks like it will take me too long to figure out I will just fall back to RPGLE.
After a couple of hours with the IT Manager I have enough information to start analyzing data and putting together a plan. I ran a few SQL queries over the file and have a good feeling for what needs to be done.
Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.
~David Dixon, 1998, winning entry of the Haiku Error Messages 21st Challenge by Charlie Varon and Jim Rosenau, sponsored by Salon.com